Belgian Personal Accident and Health Insurance Segment to Grow by 3.1% per Year, Informs Timetric

01 Oct 2012 • by Natalie Aster

In terms of gross written premium, the Belgian personal accident and health insurance segment accounted for 10.4% of the country’s total insurance industry in 2011, after recording a CAGR of 2.4% during the review period (2007–2011). This growth was primarily due to increases in overall medical expenditure and Belgian outbound tourism. The expansion of the segment was also supported by positive demographic factors such as increased life expectancy and the country’s large urban population. In addition, an increase in the Belgian government’s private and public healthcare expenditure also fuelled segment expansion. However, this growth was hampered by weak national economic development and the impact of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis both in Belgium and in neighboring countries.

Despite Belgium’s strong statutory healthcare scheme and difficult business conditions, the country’s personal accident and health segment is expected to continue to grow rapidly over the forecast period (2012–2016), with an anticipated CAGR of 3.1%.

The new report "Personal Accident and Health Insurance in Belgium, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2016" by Timetric states that in total, the number of outbound tourists from Belgium increased from 8.4 million in 2007 to 10.5 million in 2011, and is expected to reach 12.7 million by 2016. This significant increase in outbound tourism was the key growth driver of the travel insurance category during the review period, and was recorded despite the global financial crisis, and subsequent economic and political uncertainty, dramatically slowing the growth of the Belgian travel and tourism industry in 2009 and forcing the country’s business and leisure travelers to reduce overseas travel in order to limit expenditure. However, the Belgian travel and tourism industry is expected to record stable growth over the forecast period as a result of the improving political atmosphere in the country and rising national per capita disposable income, both of which are expected the purchasing power of Belgian consumers. This positive trend is expected to increase demand for travel insurance, and help the travel insurance category to record a projected CAGR of 2.9% over the forecast period.

In Belgium, all public, private and self-employed individuals are protected under a public social security system, under which health insurance is included. Under this system, public and private employees contribute some proportion of their incomes to a public welfare health insurance fund named mutuelle/mutualite or ziekenfonds/mutualiteit in order to access the country’s public healthcare facilities. However, self-employed individuals pay less than the joint contributions from employees and their employers but have access to the same services. This health insurance covers a wide range of diseases and allows the country’s citizens to benefit from health care services from any registered doctors, clinics and hospitals. In addition, Belgian public healthcare also covers expenses for homeopathy, osteopathy, acupuncture, and chiropraxy. However, despite the presence of this robust social security system, the Belgian private health insurance category still recorded significant growth during the review period due to the country’s aging population and the expensive treatments for common Belgian diseases such as kidney failure. In order to meet their medical expenses, many Belgian citizens are therefore opting for private health insurance, a trend that accelerated the growth of the country’s private health insurance category during the review period.

More Studies on Insurance in Belgium by Timetric Include:

More new market research reports by can be found at Timetric page.

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